Use of Antibiotics in Norwegian Aquaculture

Use of antibiotics in food production in Norway is strictly regulated through pharmacy sales and prescriptions only by veterinarians and aqua medicine biologists.

Norwegian farmed fish production was app. 1,3 million tonnes in 2014, and the total amount of antibiotics to farmed fish was 511 kg based on purchase statistics (523 kg based on prescriptions issued). Only 11 of the 132 prescriptions issued were aimed at salmonid production and ten of these were for prescribed for fish at 0.1-0.4 kg bodyweight. One was prescribed for a population with an average weight of 2.1 kg.

The consumption of antibiotics for salmonid production was 523,4 kg for 2014. The consumption the last eight years for salmon has been around 1 mg/kg produced fish, with 0.36 mg/kg in 2014. The consumption of antimicrobials in Norwegian aquaculture implies a very low probability of any development of antimicrobial resistance in farmed fish and transmission of such resistance to humans. Consequently, intake of farmed fish cultivated in Norway pose a negligible risk to human health in terms of antimicrobial resistance.

Due to the low sales, it is unlikely that any new antibacterial veterinary medical products will
be marketed for farmed fish in Norway in a foreseeable future.